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ACORN's Continuing Pattern of Voter Fraud

By DiscoverTheNetworks.org
November 6, 2006

During each election cycle, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) dispatches legions of paid (up to $8 per hour) workers and volunteers to register new voters in specified key locations across the United States. This year ACORN has run voter-registration drives in 17 states -- including Missouri, where Kim Mathis, who chairs the St. Louis City Board of Election Commissioners, reported in mid-October that at least 1,500 “potentially fraudulent” registration cards had been turned in by ACORN workers. "Fifteen hundred may not sound like a lot, but it is a big deal and it disenfranchises the election process," Mathis said. "It's time someone be prosecuted. There's a lot of taxpayer dollars being wasted on this." According to Mathis, the irregularities included duplicate and incomplete registrations, registrations with forged signatures, and registrations bearing the names of dead people. The Elections Board noted that ACORN was the only voter-registration organization in Missouri to have turned in any fraudulent forms at all.

Even after these revelations came to light, ACORN's involvement in voter fraud grew more egregious with each passing week. As of this writing, ACORN has turned in approximately 40,000 new voter registrations in Missouri -- about half from St. Louis and half from the Kansas City area. Of those new registrants, approximately 40 percent are fraudulent -- belying the organization's pious claim that it seeks to help empower the “disenfranchised” minorities of those urban areas. Nor are ACORN’s deceptions confined to Missouri. Similar allegations of voter fraud have been made in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Colorado.

Moreover, ACORN volunteers have admitted on tape that they were instructed, by ACORN officials, to urge new registrants to vote for state Auditor Claire McCaskill, a Democrat running for the U.S. Senate against Republican incumbent Jim Talent.

None of this chicanery is anything new for ACORN, whose employees have been accused of submitting fraudulent voter registration cards and forging signatures on ballot initiatives in 12 states since 2004. Examples of ACORN’s fraud in recent years include the following:
  • In 1998, an employee of ACORN's affiliate Project Vote was arrested for falsifying approximately 400 voter registration cards. The addresses listed on some of the applications corresponded to vacant lots and abandoned buildings; in other cases, the addresses did not exist at all.
  • In 2003, Election Board officials in St. Louis reported that of 5,379 voter registration cards submitted by that city’s branch of ACORN, only 2,013 appeared to be valid.
  • When ACORN worked to pass a ballot initiative to raise Florida’s minimum wage in 2004, a Florida Department of Law Enforcement spokesman said that ACORN had been “singled out” among suspected voter registration groups as “the common thread” in the agency’s statewide investigations. 
  • In Cuyahoga County, Ohio in 2004, ACORN and its affiliate Project Vote submitted registration cards with a 15 percent error rate -- higher than the submissions of any other voter registration group in the state. That same year, Matthew Damschroder, Director of the Franklin County Board of Election Supervisors, said that ACORN and Project Vote had turned in many “blatantly false” forms, including duplicates, false information, and forged signatures.
  • In August 2004, election officials in Albuquerque, New Mexico discovered that an ACORN employee had registered a 13-year-old boy to vote. The social security number, birthday, and address listed on his registration card were all incorrect. In response, New Mexico State Representative Joe Thompson accused ACORN of “manufacturing voters” throughout the state.  
  • In 2004 Kym Cason, the girlfriend of an ACORN employee, registered three of her friends to vote a combined total of 40 times -- in an effort to earn money for her boyfriend, who she said was paid $2 by ACORN for each voter he registered.
  • In 2005, ACORN employees forged thousands of fraudulent signatures in an effort to put a wage initiative on the ballot in Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • During a 2004 traffic stop in Minnesota, police discovered more than 300 voter registration cards in the car trunk of former ACORN employee Joshua Reed. The cards had been filled out weeks, and in some cases months, earlier -- in violation of a law requiring that they be submitted to the secretary of state within 10 days of being filled out and signed. 

During a Congressional hearing in Ohio after the 2004 election, officials from several counties in the state reported that ACORN had deluged them with thousands of registration forms on the submission deadline, even though the forms had been filled out months earlier. "You have to wonder what's the point of that, if not to overwhelm the system and get phony registrations on the voter rolls," said Thor Hearne of the American Center for Voting Rights, who testified at the hearing.

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